In Honor of Thanksgiving: Lots of Pecan Pie

LOTS OF PECAN PIES

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3 large eggs, beaten

1cup corn syrup (light or dark)

1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, chilled (see recipe below and make first before filling)

2 cups pecan pieces (see note)

Prep Day: Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add pecans and stir to combine thoroughly. Pour into prepared crust, scraping inside of bowl thoroughly clean.

Set pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and bake until the filling is set, about 40 minutes more. Cover the rim of the pie crust with aluminum foil after 15 to 20 minutes to prevent burning.

If pecan pieces on top begin to darken too much towards the end of the cooking period, cover top with a sheet of aluminum foil as well.

Let cool on a rack before serving or freezing. Makes 8 servings.

To Freeze: Allow pie to cool to room temperature. Wrap tightly in foil.

Serve Day: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. May be served warm or at room temperature.

Note: Use pecan halves instead of pieces, if desired. Reserve 1 cup of the pecan halves to arrange decoratively on top of pie just before it goes in the oven.

All-Butter Pie Crust Dough

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Yield: 2 (9-inch) deep dish pie crusts

The butter should be very cold, and to ensure this, I keep mine in the freezer. After cutting it into cubes, I often put it back into the freezer so it will stay as cold as possible until I’m ready to work with it.

2 1/2 cups (312 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
8 tablespoons ice water*

Prep Day: In a food processor, mix the flour, sugar, and salt until blended. Add cubed butter and pulse just until a coarse meal is formed. Sprinkle water into the food processor by the tablespoonful and pulse until the dough begins to form moist clumps. Pour the dough out onto a work surface and form into 2 balls. Flatten ball gently into a thick disk and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour before rolling.

Make Ahead: Dough can be kept in refrigerator up to one week. You can keep it in the freezer for up to 1 month; double wrap in plastic prior to freezing.

*Note: You may need a little more or a little less water than 8 tablespoons. I keep a bowl of ice water on the counter right next to my food processor and measure the water out by the tablespoon as I go.

Serve Day: When you need an apple pie, take out the crust and the pie filling kit. Let both thaw. You can hurry this along by putting the ziplock of pie filling in a bowl of warm water, but check to make sure there are no holes in the bag. You can also hurry the crust along by microwaving it on the defrost setting.

Once crust is thawed roll it out. You might need some excess flour. Spread the crust into a pie plate and dump the uncooked pie filling in. Put the top crust on and pinch the edges so that it all looks homemade. Make a couple of vent slices in the top crust to let steam escape. Bake at 425° for about 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350° and bake another 20 or 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

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